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Indian community heroes to attend UK PM’s Coronation lunch

Navjot Sawhney, Points of Light winner, and other community heroes to attend Rishi Sunak's Coronation lunch (Photo: IANS)

Navjot Sawhney, an Indian-origin Sikh engineer who had won the Points of Light Award earlier this year, is among several other community heroes who will attend the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s special Coronation lunch on Sunday at the Downing Street.

The event, hosted by Sunak and First Lady Akshata Murty, is taking place as part of The Big Lunch — a nationwide initiative to bring neighbours and communities together to celebrate the Coronation.

“Recipients of the Points of Light Award — volunteers that have made an outstanding contribution to their community — have been invited to attend the event,” a government statement said.

Ukrainian families forced to flee their homes and youth groups are also expected to attend the event, the statement added.

“I am proud to welcome Ukrainians forced to flee their homes and some incredible community heroes to Downing Street for our very own Coronation lunch to celebrate this historic moment,” Prime Minister Sunak said.

Sawhney had won the PM’s Points of Light Award in January this year for designing an energy-efficient manual washing machine for displaced and low-income communities.

His “hand-cranked washing machine has benefitted over 1,000 families without access to an electric machine in underdeveloped countries or refugee camps,” the statement said.

Sawhney’s machines have also helped Ukrainian families who have been forced to flee their homes and are currently living in humanitarian aid centres.

More than 50,000 Big Lunch street parties are expected to take place in the UK and in countries across the globe.

Along with Sawhney, Zoe and Andy Clark-Coates who set up ‘Saying Goodbye’ — a charity that supports thousands of people who have lost a child during pregnancy, at birth or infancy — will also attend the event.

They will be joined by three-time breast cancer survivor, Laura Ashurst, who has campaigned for 15 years to improve the lives of the 35,000 women across the UK with secondary breast cancer.

Ukrainian Olga Breslavska who travelled to the UK as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme and Caroline Quill — a Homes for Ukraine sponsor — who has been instrumental in matching 250 families across East Sussex and Kent, and will also join the lunch.

For the Coronation lunch, Downing Street will be adorned with bunting featuring the official Coronation emblem and the Union Flag.

Crockery will be donated by Emma Bridgewater — an award-winning ceramics company — including a limited edition King Charles III teapot, according to the statement.

The attendees will savour food sourced from across the UK, including Loch Duart salmon from Sutherland in North West Scotland and soda farl from Northern Ireland.